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Humans are very inventive and can solve a problem  like crossing a river with little difficulty; but  when the immediate problem is solved, the original way of life continues as before. For a lasting impact that spreads there is a need for sustained environmental pressures - ie the problems keep occurring and the solutions have to become part of the way of life. New ways of life, whether living  with dependence on boats, or  dependence on  farming, or dependence on horse travel, and so on,  took  long times to  develop, involving  trial and error until  all  details were worked out. But once the new way of life had reached its final solution, it could then be easily copied and adopted according to need - even partially.  (Such as northern peoples combining gardens, barn animals,  use of boats on nearby rivers,  and even hunting, to achieve a  successful  hybrid way of life.) Thus after the  boat-oriented way of life was established,  it was  copied  and  generally took humans to the sea  and in due course made possible long distance  trade, sea travel across oceans  (leading to the "discovery" of  North America!)   The most significant inheritance from the boat-oriented way of life was the establishing of  professional long distance traders to serve another branch of humanity that was pursuing farming and became immoblized by settlement. Already  millenia before the Roman Empire, there developed a duality to ancient European civilization: one the one hand the settled farmers who could not travel many km from their settlement, and on the other hand  long distance traders, including "Veneti", who bridged the distances between settlements further apart, becoming long-distance traders..The "Veneti"  appear to have directly arisen from the boat peoples, and  ancient inscriptions created by colonies at the Adriatic  Sea seem to prove they were Finnic, and therefore were colonies initiated by northern amber traders,

The Evolution of a New Way of Life


     Once humans had mastered the new way of life using boats and water, it was copied, just as much as in southeast Europe the new way of life growing crops was copied. Both are major institutions in humankind. In this article, we will produce a brief review of examples of impacts caused by the innovation of travelling in boats on water.


    Humans change way of life to adapt to their environmental conditions and challenges to survival. Humans have the basic instinctive behaviour - such as observed in wild chimpanzees - for which evolution developed us (Our desire for a temperature of 20 degrees centigrade, 'moderate' wind, sun, rain, an environment that is NOT dry desert, but a "Garden of Eden' is what evolution developed in us.) We then moved into other circumstances and had to develop conscious behaviour and technology to mitigate the incompatabilities between our natural selves and what was needed to survive.
    Unless we live naked in a tropical paradise, humans have always had to adapt to their environment. In the Ice Age we had to learn how to live almost entirely on eating meat. Meat ensured our survival. Evolution already made it possible to eat meat (as seen by chimpanzees sometimes eating small animals they manage to catch). We learned how to bring down mammoths and live off its meat for months.
    As intelligent and adaptable as humans were, there are limitations, and if the environment changes too fast, it could lead to suffering and population drop and even extinction. Archeology has found throughout the middle of Europe in the Ice Age - a steppes tundra - humans created figures of fertile women with exaggerated sexual features and probably pregnant. Archeologists called them "Venus figurines" but they were obviously celebrating the phenomenon of birth, and were probably used to promote births - perhaps in humans, but also possibly in the animals that they hunted, whose populations may have seemed to be declining. I believe it was the origins of semi-domestication of wild cattle and eventually their breeding since eventually domesticated cattle were found throughout the range of the nomadic movements of these people. Wild cattle were animals that could succeed well in open footlands of mountain ranges, In mountains, humans developed the domestication of wild goats and sheep. Both could have been origins of "Indo-Europeans".
    When the Ice Age retreated, for the most part, it did not impact impact humankind very much to the south, since nomadic hunter-gatherers simply shifted north - little by little year after year - without being aware that the world climate was dramatically warming.
    The problems arose at the extreme north and south. Let us begin in the south. Some parts became so hot it turned forests into deserts, and humans had to adapt. In the Tigris River valley, people invented irrigation/
    At the north extreme locations, as we discussed at length in the previous chapters, northward shifting was blocked by two things - the melting glaciers themself, and glacial meltwater. Now the climate was warming faster than water could drain into the sea. The entire region south of the glaciers because flooded. To the east where there had been no glaciers, noneless, the glacial meltwater had to be drained by the Volga, Kama, Dneiper and other rivers, carrying northern meltwater south mainly towards the Black Sea.
    So the north TOO required drastic adaptation. While in Asia Minor irrigation and agriculture developed for survival, in northern Europe boats had to be developed to hunt and fish in lands both flooded and dense with impassible forests. Marshes, lakes and rivers navigated by dugout canoes replaces former travel on foot now impossible. The only people still in happy conditions were in the interior of Europe, where open deciduous forests arose, and humans were able to hunt large game like elk and deer.
    My thesis is that the human reaction to the northern glacial flooding was equal to the development of irrigation and agriculture in southeast Europe. Down in Africa there were also difficulties with heat which seems to have promoted bodily adaptation rather than any major new development in way of life.


    Archeology reveals that humans became highly dependent on reindeer herds late in the Ice Age - say about 15,000 years ago. During the later Ice Age, for some reason mammoths and other animals of the arctic tundra/steppes were becoming extinct. Reindeer appeared to flourish.
    Why the Ice Age arctic animals disappeared has been mystery. It is possible the cause was that apparently in the Holocene (around 10,000 years ago) the northern climate became even warmer than today. The animals adapted to extreme cold tried to migrate as far north as they could. Animals that were not migratory failed to do so. Mammoths, according to archeological finds, survived in the most remote arctic mountainous regions of actic Siberia and across into Alaska.  They could have found refuge in the Tamir Peninsula, but at that time the Tamir Peninsula was covered with glacier. So the Tamir Peninsula became the later refuge for reindeer herds.
    Reindeer endured because they were migratory. Herds can migrate thousands of km north and then back south. Humans learned the wisdom of helping reindeer further south to migrate up mountains in summer and down in winter, setting the stage for semi-domestication.
    Mammoths disappeared and so did their hunters. It is possible that Neanderthals were dependent on mammoths, and with the disappearance of mammoths, neanderthals disappeared too.
    What remained were reindeer hunters and then managers. But then even reindeer were threatened by the warm climate. reindeer and their hunters survived in the extreme north - but mainly where there had not been any glaciers and no glacial meltwater. Reindeer herds can travel across ice, but need to be able to paw for food through the snow.
    Therefore the disappearance of reindeer is a large part of the story of the rise of boat peoples. Boat peoples had to arise from reindeer people, and the reindeer people only lasted longer among those reindeer people of Asian origins that were able to follow reindeer herds north, or quickly learn to manage reindeer in mountains. For that reason, the boat people expanding east from the Baltic area, encountered reindeer people in the Urals, and that had an impact on the language and genetic in the general northwest Eurasian region.
    Archeology suggests that the earliest change from reindeer people to boat people occurred in the region first impacted by climate warming - the south end of the Scandinavian Peninsula, The glaciers had originated in the mountains of Norway, and therefore the glaciers, still covering the Scandinavian Peninsula, and the seas south of it (that became the North and Baltic Seas, blocked further northward shifting.  The "Maglemose" culture had to develop first. Towards the east where Poland is located, reindeer peoples were still able to shift with reindeer herds in the northeast direction. But soon they were compromised too, but they were able to change their way of life more gradually - even carrying forward tools from their ancestral "Swiderian" reindeer culture. I think that the "Kunda" culture that arose from "Swiderian" was very healthy, being able to borrow from both the "Maglemose" and "Swiderian" cultures, and achieve the best way of life possible.
    There is a good possibility that the "Kunda" cuilture continued the "Swiderian" culture by hunting herds of seals according to the template of previously ambushing reindeer herds crossing water (slowed down by water) In that case the change was not drastic. Seal hunting in the sea, was similar to ambushing reindeer crossing rivers.


    Once one group has mastered a new useful innovation, other groups do not need to reinvent it. Humans are social creatures, we like identifying with other peoples and copying what others do.  Nor do other groups, other peoples, have to completely copy the new way of life completely. They can partly copy the new way of life and adapt it to what they already have. For example  hunter-gatherer peoples, witnessing farming, did not suddenly become complete farmers. They continued being nomadic hunter-gatherers, and tried to fit some farming into their traditional way of life. While the adopting of farming in Europe occurred a long time ago, we can find examples in North America that occurred in relatively recent times.
    A good example would be the Maliseet Natives of the Saint John River in New Brunswick Canada in the 17th century. Being an Algonquian people, they were seasonal nomadic extended families who travelled down the river to its mouth in the summer, and then returned upriver, each family to their own territories, for the winter. European observers who first observed them found that they had left one extended family at the mouth to live there permanently, and grow crops (of the North American variety such as maize and squash). Then of course in summer, when the whole tribe of families gathered, they would share the crops. Thus the nomadic Algonquians tried to fit farming practices into their way of life where possible - including planting crops in spring and then leaving the crops to grow on their own.
    Needless to say, the very act of creating any kind of farming at all, exerted a pressure to end the original hunter-gatherer way of life - but only if farming produced more food than hunting in the wild. In early Europe northern hunter-gatherers did not convert to a farming economy because farming needed a sufficiently long growing season, and fertile soils. Hunting-gathering boat peoples continued their original way of life for thousands of years simply because living off the wild was still more efficient in the north than farming. It has only been in the last centuries that farming methods including technology has improved enough so that today farming is economical as far north as about central Scandinavia.
     But for thousands of years after farming arrived further south in central Europe there would have been plenty of attempts to carry the farming way of life further north.  Farming practices would have pushed north into Scandinavia or up the east Baltic coast, and groups would have copied it, failed, and only retained farming as a side pursuit. There would be transitional zones between fully living off farming and fully living off the wild.
    Since farming and keeping farm animals required humans 'settle down', the first compromise to the original boat oriented hunting gathering way of life was to continue to hunt or fish even while tending to farm animals and fields, but not be nomadic. Men would go out to hunt or fish in the morning an arrive back at night - or be moderately nomadic for some days or even weeks, arriving back at their 'home base' later.


     Of course, the very act of settling in order to tend to a garden and farm animals, reduced the nomadism. In the original nomadic hunter-gatherers, the tribe was spread over a wide geographical area, and did not come together in the same place until the annual gatherings of families, usually in summer. Thus a nomadic hunter-gatherer tribe who had to return to a fixed home base daily or after several days, reduced the territory they covered to maybe a third. This reduction of territory reduced the maintaining of the original language over as wide a geographical region. And that is the basis for seeing the original language of the boat peoples between the Baltic and Urals diverge into dialects and eventually into languages. If we correlate the modern/recent "Finni-Ugric" language divergence to the mobility, we can make some very good guesses about the rate of subdivision.
    Based on archeological and historic information, the development of actual 'languages' (dialects so diverged from one another that they can be regarded as related languages rather than dialects) in "Baltic-FInnic", "Volgic-FInnic" and "Permic-Finnic" languages probably occurred ony during the last millenium, and that before that they were all dialects of the original language.
    As much as the aboriginal boat peoples came under the influence of farming practices and borrowed what worked, so too settled farming peoples were free to borrow the innovation of the boat if they had circumstances that made it useful - such as a nearby lake full of fish. Some farming peoples would see the aboriginal boat peoples making and using boats and make some for their own use - to go fishing on a lake, to travel by river to the regional market.  As long as it was useful, and could be fit into the existing way of life (such as replacing going to market with a wagon with going to market with a river boat.), it could be adopted. But in general the settled farming way of life forced  people to stay in one place. Since a people cannot be both nomadic and sedentary at the same time. it would be very difficult for sedentary peoples to also produce long distance traders. The role however perfectly suited descendants of the boat peoples. Early long distance professional traders were thus mostly derived from the seasonally nomadic boat-oriented hunter-gatherers who we can associated with the northern Finnic boat peoples of northern Europe.
    The most significant impact of the development and expansion of the boat-oriented way of life as its development of long-distance professional traders. But that was dependent on the development of customers/consumers. Farming, in that it demanded humans settle down to take care of their farm fields and pens of animals, produced the perfect customers for long distance traders. While farming settlements could develop local farmers markets, they lacked the long distance boat-oriented nomadism skills even if they did not have to remain close to their settlements.
    Thus the new way of life that arose, had sources in BOTH the boat people way of life AND the agricultural way of life. By itself, the boat peoples did not progress anywhere else than more fishing and water-transportation
    The rise of farming does not need much attention, because civilization has given it much attention. The very practice of wars and military conquest that dominated historical texts, is all about competition over agriculturally valuable real estate. History has generally taken trade, industry and commerce for granted. It is there in the background. Even today, our civilization is energized by trade, industry and commerce. We are a consumer humankind, consuming everything from electronics to autos to fast food hamburgers, and yet the news is filled with the antics of politicians and cultural celebrities. Let us therefore for the first time put the spotlight on trade, industry and commerce, starting from the first evidence of trade goods travelling thousands of km from where they were acquired - more or less about 5,000 years ago. Before that, trade was not a profession, not a way of life. People simply traded when needed. As I say, professional trading - making a living only from trade - could only come into its own when farming settlements did.


    Human nature alone will not produce organized trading activity on the large scale. Human nature alone will not  cause humankind to be completely immobile - tied to the same general location in a settlement generation after generation. The circumstances of North America some centuries ago, before colonization from Europe, were essentially what happens when there is not large scale trading activity. Without peoples accustomed to boat use, tribes will only interract with immediate neighbouring peoples. Interractions with distant tribes do not happen, and awareness of what exists further away is vague.
    This is how it was in Europe before the development of large trade systems. The Europe seen by the Romans was much like that original North America - tribes were not aware of what was further away, there were hundreds of languages and dialects and cultures. Anthropologists a century ago know the nature of natural human organization. National Geographic magazine was filled with strange tribes in remote jungles in strange places. In North America around the 17th century, French explorers describe great variation from tribe to tribe. For example, one tribe might  have no restrictions on complete nakedness, with the next was very strict. South American jungles still had peculiar customs by the 19th century. Peoples who stretched their lips and inserted discs of wood. There was body tatooing, peculiar puberty rituals. Aztecs sacrificed maidens at the top of pyramids. All this variety and peculiarity arises naturally from lack of large scale organization. Today our entire humankind is united by world-wide mass media. The whole world has the same large scale cultural behaviour. Perhaps in a century from now we will look back and think of some of what we consider normal today to be bizarre.


    Pseudo-scholars today, who promote the idea that there existed large scale nations existed in Europe before the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire appears to have been the first truly large scale organization of a large empire. You may say, what about ancient Greece? If you read literature from ancient Greek, you discover that there was no large scale government, and that Greek was a trade language that also developed into a common language for other purposes like culture. (Think of English today). There were city states who were essentially tribes living in organized settlements. The ancient historian Herodotus described all the tribes who came together to wage war with the Persians in the 5th century BC, and his writing shows just how different the participants were in terms of customs, appearance, language, beliefs. When Romans developed the Roman Empire their system promoted Roman nationalism. Everyone was encouraged to think of themselves as Romans, wear togas, etc. Today we are used to this, because all our nations are politically  organized around large scale nationalism. The largest European nation today is larger than the largest natural tribe.
    The notion that there could have been an empire in Europe, or anywhere, before the Roman Empire, is ridiculous. When we think of Indo-European cultures, whose language speaks of origins in farming and herding, we have to think of hundreds of dialects. Without large scale governments, it would be impossible for there to be one language across central Europe. There was never a single large scale Celtic nation. There as never a large scale Germanic nation. There was never a large scale Slavic nation. The variation of languages and cultures was as strong as Herodotus described in the tribes who came together for the Persian war.  Or imagine North America before Europeans landed on its shores.
    But why do scholars and pseudo-scholars imagine that there existed a single Celtic Europe, a single Germanic Europe, or single Slavic Europe before the Roman Empire? It is because larger political units only developed since the Roman Empire, and copying of the Roman heirarchical system.
    In natural human organization, a tribe consisted of a number of extended families associating with each other. Basically the natural number of families is about 4-8.  Each extended family has a chief, and the grand chief of the entire tribe is formed from one of them, and the family chiefs form a council to deal with tribal issues.
    When it gets larger, especially when the total number of individuals exceeds about 60, men who challenge the chief can break away and take a few families with them, and form another tribe. The new tribe of course has to move far enough away so as not to remain on the territory of the parent tribe. It is just like when a young person leaves home - he or she wants to move far enough away to break with their parent family.
    But evironmental pressured may make it desirable there is no breakaway, but the tribe tried to accomodate more families and keep internal peace. This is achieved if the council of family chiefs becomes more organized, and adds rules and punishments. When it gets of substantial size, there is a king, and police to ensure this oversize tribe holds together. Thus ancient kingdoms can become quite large if well organized and regulated. But ultimately the "Kingdom" was still a tribe.


    History shows that before and after the Roman Empire, there were strong kingdoms with significant armies to keep the ruled peoples in line, but these kindgoms could only extend their rule as far as it took to send their army from the central palace location to the most distant point the king claimed as his. How far is that?
    A larger political unit could be obtained if several kingdoms formed a confederation with a common purpose like defeating an enemy. But confederations were usually short term.
    The Roman Empire took another approach. It created a multi-leveled government ruled from Rome. Armies were stationed all over the map ready to head out to any location of unrest. It helped that it sought to be democratic - that means it was not possible for any one person to become a permanent ruler and command an army to keep him in power. Indeed the natural government of humankind was democratic. The chief of a tribe was chosen from among the chiefs/heads of participating families. While there were traditions of certain families inheriting the right to rule a tribe, it was just a default suggestion, since families with traditions in leadership, would tend to inherit the skills.
    The Roman system, thus was able to create a very large political unity by a heirachy of officials looking back to Rome, along with military camps everywhere. In addition - and this is important - Romans built long overland roads everywhere, so that an army or officials could reach any location overland in a week or so.
    Before the Roman Empire, roads were relatively local and not very good. They were used only for regional marketing. A cluster of settlements would establish a market town and cut roads by which the settlements could get their produce to market. The condition of the roads were only as good as the locals were willing to keep them in shape. Romans created long roads on the large scale and intentionally made them to last forever. Today sections of 2000 year old Roman roads can still be found.
    But before Roman roads created long distance overland travel - assuming you had horses and chariots -  the only long distance highways were made of water, and travelled by boats.
    Archeology in North America has determined that North America had some long distance trade, originally oriented north-south via the Mississippi. Apparently copper from north of Lake Superior, for example, found its way to the Gulf of Mexico. This could reflect what was found in Europe before the Bronze Age. Major long rivers that linked distant locations were clearly used for carrying wares long distances.
    But long distance trade could only develop where settled peoples developed an interest in places and goods further way that what they knew in their local cluster of settlements.  Today there is world-wide shipping and there is very little left that we would consider exotic - unless it is rocks from the moon. But earlier, all local products would be ordinary and boring and we would be fascinated by something new and different from far away.
    But boats and rivers also had an intermediate role as well. Even using a local river to go to a market located strategically along a river, to which surrounding settlements could bring wares to market without needing to deal with troublesome roads.
    Thus the development of boats had a major impact to all levels of trade everywhere there were waterways. Methods of manufacturing with wicker or boards provided ideas for creating boats sufficient for carring wares to market.
    We can conclude that before the Roman Empire, there were actually very few roads in general. Roads were trails created naturally from being trampled.


    The natural system of water drainage in Europe became the heirarchy of shipping. Ancient peoples even understood it. Tributaries of rivers sent waters down to points where several tributaries met. Replace the word 'water' with 'goods' and it is easy to see that different levels of market towns reflected the structure of the water system. The dominant market would be the one at the mouth of the river that also recieved ships via the sea.
    The whole economic system based on using boats in water systems to carry wares, was made possible by the adoption of boats. Farming peoples could easily adopt boats for local travel, but large scale trade tended to remain in the hands of the peoples who originated the boat and the use of them in trade.Accordingly we should discover in Roman era toponymy, that place name involved most in long distance trade have descriptive names when interpreted with FInnic. Between the major long distance routes and the local water routes to local markets there were varying degrees of influence from the long distance traders, according to the degree the participants needed to master the large scale trade language.
    Let us consider Gaul  in Roman times
    In his military campaigns to conquer Gaul, Julius Caesar saw three distinct geographical areas with the same language, laws and institutions - Aquitani, Belgae, Celtae. The actual division into districts when Roman Gaul was formed, proved that these peoples were defined by the the Garonne, Rhine, and Loire water basins. This indicates that all peoples were using boats to travel up and down the rivers in order to visit various local markets and the major port-market at the mouth of the river.
    Based on my theory that large scale traders originated millenia previously and established a large scale Finnic trade language, I studied place names around Roman Gaul and Britain, to detect Finnic names - using the criteria that ancient peoples named places by describing them (plus an added ending to signify it was a name and not just a description - usually a genitive)
    As much as I wanted to be able to translate with Finnic (using Estonian) place names everywhere in Gaul, but in fact most of the believable translations were at the trade routes by which ancient traders crossed between the Mediterranean and Atlantic via to rivers at the neck of the Iberian Peninsula - Ebro to the south of the Pyrennes Mountains, and the Garonne to the north,
    The most notable place name, still found on maps today is the Spanish name for the Bay of Biscay - Mar Cantabrico. There is also a mountain range Cordillera Cntbrica. Roman texts also identify a tribe of that name south of the region of Bilbao or San Sebastian. The word resonates with Estonian kandav riigi 'nations that carry, transport'.  The Ebro flows towards the Mediterranean from across the mountains  Thus, there were people with the role of carrying wares between the Atlantic and the upper Ebro. The word "Ebro" itself combines two quite common word elements in place names in western Europe - most noticable in Roman times - an ABA which was the word used for a river that descended to the sea, and was therefore a very long estuary, and the element RA (RO, RU, etc) which was used often as a suffix meaning 'way, route' (In modern Estonian it appears in rada, rata 'path, way'  and is also at the origins of English road.) It appears at the origins of the names of all major trade rivers - Rhine (Roman Rhennus), Rhone (Roman Rhodanus) and the -RA element occurred as a suffix in many river names - for examplem Loire was Roman Liger or Ligera, Oder was Otra, the Danube was to Greeks Ister or Istra,  the Dneiper was Nistra, the Volga according to Ptolemy was Rha. All these names interpret well - for example LIgera resonates with Est liige ra(da) 'moving-way'. Later in history the element TURU was used to identify a market, and it combined TU with the RA (RU, RO) and it meant literally 'bring-way'  (the place to bring wares).  At the same time, the TU element (or TO, TE, TA, etc - in FInnish today tuo, Estonian too) was used to name rivers too. For example what Greeks knew as Istra was also known by Romans  Danubius (read Est TOON 'of bringing'  ABA 'estuary')
    Near the mouth of the Ebro today, there is the coastal port of Tarragona. Perhaps like Ebro, this is a word that has resisted becoming distorted in the last couple millenia, since I can see in it the Estonian turu-konna 'community of the market'
    After a while the language of trade rivers becomes clear. Some elements resonate with Basque. Basque may been the language spoken by the Cantabrico tribes, the tribes who were involved with the international trade.
        To the north of the Pyrennes is the Garonne. This river drains the other way. Thus a shipper could use the Garonne when travelling with the flow from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic an use the Ebro when going the other way. If one had a barge and did not want to row against the flow. One would begin the journey from Narbonne (I believe known as Narbo in Roman times) Narbo is the same word as today Narva in northeast Estonia. It occurs in other locations like Narvik Norway. It exists in many locations in ancient texts, and the stem is NER or NAR. It refers to a location of a water route, in which the boat is forced through a bottleneck, a narrows. It is origin of the English narrow, and the name Norway. The latter comes from the narrow passage for travelling between the North Sea and the Baltic. It originally applied to that area, but was extended up the coast in the first millenium as the Danes conquered the coasts that became Norway. (We note too that the district in northern Spain  where trade crossed from the Atlantic to the Ebro, is today called Navarra.) Some may ask 'how do you know the word has Finnic origin?' It is also used to name the kidney, by which fluid is eliminated. (Estonian neer)
    The name of the Garonne River in Roman times was something like Garumna.  The GARU element appears frequently in Ptolemy's Britain (Albion) in early Roman times, and its context of use seems to resonate most with Estonian korja  meaning 'gather'. The English carry probably is related. The river name probably originally meant '(river) of the 'gathering land' or 'carrying land' implying that shippers dropped their wares there in warehouses, to be transferred to ships.  An ocean-going ship of course did not travel through the rivers. So unless a ship went to the Mediterranean via the Strait of Gibraltar, the wares it carried were transferred between associated shippers based on either side of the Iberian Peninsula. In any event goods were funnelled from Narbo to the Garonne, and travelled down the river to the mouth, where, according to Caesar the port town was called Burdigala (or similar), today Bordeaux. The word Burdigala resonates with Estonian purde küla  meaning  community  built on piers.  The mouth of major rivers is always a swampy delta, so it is easy to imagine a port built on piers located up the Garonne estuary as far as a ship could go without going aground.
    All the names easily translatable with Estonian into meaningful descriptions are ones that can be easily associated with major long distance trade. The descriptive words, furthermore, can be found all over Europe!!
    The names that change least are ones that are little used and taken for granted. The neck of the Iberian Peninsula has a mountain range called Pyrenes, which resonates with Estonian piirine 'of the nature of a boundary'


    It is easy to see how rapidly a farming-based civilization can come to dominate a map with names, by simply looking at a North American map and realize just how many settlements were created only in several centuries.
    In Europe too, farming was successful It allows humans to survive on small plots of land, whereas aboriginals in the wild had to procure food over large wilderness territories.
    Farming was successful and farming settlements multiplied. The new settlements will be named in the farming peoples' language. It reminds me of how the North American map is filled with towns and cities with original new names, but major geographical names still have their original pre-colonization, Native names. (Like for example "Mississippi" is Algonquian for 'river') Modern maps have so much new naming that it is difficult to find surviving early names of origins in the original boat peoples who established trade routes as early as 5,000 years ago, and even names in Roman times had so much development that in Roman times too, place and tribe names were dominated by new names.
    Celtic scholars will claim that these place names I attribute to a large international trade language of Finnic origins, are all Celtic. But that is like claiming all names in the modern North American map are European. Scholarly opiniom lacks nuance.
  I have given examples around the neck of the Iberian Peninsula, but I could also continue and also look at other locations. Everywhere there is evidence of an early large scale  language. And the languages of settled people adopted many of the commonly used words. The word "Don" for trade rivers, is found from the Black Sea to Spain to Britain. Why is this word so popular? Because it meant 'bring' (probably developing the added meaning of 'carry'.
    One finds the same words everywhere. Since this is a subject that can take up a thousand pages, I will focus on the ancient Greek world. The steady Baltic amber trade that began 5,000 years ago,  as findings of Baltic amber in Babylonian tombs, must have left a strong mark on the ancient world. And that is the case.

The Development of Professional Trade


     Archeology has found evidence dating back to the Stone Age, of goods originating in a location appearing in another location far away. Humans are natural towards sharing, and when two groups met, there is an obligation to share what each has in excess. If the excess is in natural resources, then they are happy to give away some of it. When there is plenty there is low value. Elsewhere where people lack that item, obtaining it has great value. Thus sharing excesses makes everyone happy. If one group takes something from another that not in excess, it manifests as robbery.
     Originally, the groups met each other on occasions of tribal gatherings. If the groups were strangers to each other, there would be greater formality - is this item equal in value to that which i given in exchange?
  In between the bargaining strangers, steps in the businessman, the merchant, the trader. But it was not a profession originally. It became a profession when the merchant figured out how to take something for himself - something from both parties for the effort.
       Professional traders arose  when this merchant activity was combined with long distance transportation. The professional trader obtained goods where they were in excess, therefore cheap, and and carried it to another location where it was rare and therefore valuable. For example, when some adventurers from the Baltic went south wearing amulets made of Baltic amber, they discovered people in the south who fascinated by the amber jewelery and gave something in exchange that was valuable to them.
    We know how in recent North America Natives were happy to receive beads in exchange for furs. So we may think that the merchants were crooks to take valuable furs in exchange for cheap beads; but the realty was that the Natives did not attach such a high value to furs as Europeans living in cities and the Natives found European beads amazing. I would take them much effort to make such beads themselves.
    In the Roman Age, and earlier, when the southeast Baltic area was visited by Pytheas and Tacitus, they thought the natives there for undervaluing amber so much they even burned it sometimes for fuel,  But the reality was only Pytheas and Tacitus valued the amber, as a result of their experiences with it in the Mediterranean market. Here in the north, it was something pretty that washed up onto beaches after storms. Anyone could walk the beaches and collect it. No payment needed for it.
    But the reality was that the visitor from the Mediterranean who came to purchase cheap amber, had already paid a great deal in the transportation getting there.
    The professional trader weighed the cost of transporting an item a long distance against the difference between cost at origin and revenue expected at the destination. Costs would be kept down is the product had a high value compared to weight, and if the shipping was as efficient as possible. In the beginning the people who were able to make the journey for the lowest cost and highest efficiency were those  who used waterways and who had mastered, now for millenia, a way of life moving through the natural wilderness from one camping location to another, returning to the same place only a year later. Such people could do the same thing, but carrying goods. All that was necessary was that they maximized profit. If you had a load of amber necklaces manufactured at the southeast Baltic, and made a journey south up the Vistula, stopping and camping in four markets along the way, you will not try to sell the amber necklace close to the origins of the amber. You will hide the amber until reaching the southern market where it is in greatest demand and fetch the greatest payment, when weighed against the cost of the shipping. This is the reason, it was in the interest for early traders to carry wares the entire distance, and not sell it at the next market. If an item were simply traded in the next marketplace, and it eventually reached the south, its value would be consumed by a long chain of middlemen, each adding cost, so that at the destination the net gain would be negative.
    Therefore there was a strong incentive for the boat peoples who embarked on professional trading, to deliberately set out to go all the way to the final destination, even if it took many months. Professional traders might imitate their traditional way of life, moving through the settlement local markets a if traditional campsites, spending a whole year before arriving back where they started. It is possible that there were such trader, even travelling entire families together. It is possible the peoples Greeks called "Cimmeri", circumnavigated Europe, with the Volga on the east. It is thought the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, actually followed a trade route that circumnavigated Europe.
    It is surprising how even today archeologists do not understand what drives trade. Archeologists have claimed the Baltic amber that appeared in tombs of Babylon, arrived there by a chain of hops from market to market. Others imagined that the the large amount of amber that was found in the tombs of Mycenean kings came from a large shipment presumably carried by their own people.  But the fact that today Polish archeologists were discovering remains of amber-necklace crafting workships dating to that time (4000 years ago) suggests that the Mycenean kings became aware of amber and its value by already existing amber trade, in the Mediterranean before the Mycenean Greeks arrived and began a campaign of replacing the original "Pelasgic" trade language, with Greek.
    In Finnic the stem myy or müü means 'sell'. Was Mycenea a trade center established by the "Pelasgi" and was it originally called MYYGI(N) from genitive of MYYK 'the sale, selling' hence '(city) of the selling'.
    Not long ago, there was a media article about archeologists having found that about the same time, or earlier, there was copper mining in northern Wales that removed more copper from the mine than could possibly be used locally. The idea was advanced that the copper was being removed by boats. Where did the boats go? Were they carried by ship all the way to the east Mediterranean? When ocean-going ships had developed, ships that did not need to be portaged or suit rivers, and which could be propelled by wind, it was possible to load them with ore, and if the sailors did not have someplace else they had to be, the ship could take months travelling the sea, with no cost than to feed the sailors.
    With sailing ships, distance ceased to be a challenge. The large distance was easily covered by ships that sailed night and day. It was possible, for example, for a ship sailing with the wind, night and day to travel from Britain to the southeast Baltic in ten days. Never mind, the challenges of carrying goods by rivers, with portages, navigating marshes, stopping at markets, camping on shores. Trade by sailing ship became the most efficient manner of shipping, and it was not limited to light things of high value.
    The British Isles became a major source of ores needed in more developed Europe. Tin had to be added to copper to produce the harder metal - bronze. Around 500 BC (2500 years ago, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote that "amber and tin" come to Greece 'from the ends of the earth".
    The whole story of how trade, industry and commerce developed Europe is essentially unknown.


       The main economic pursuit of a people is difficult to displace because a great deal including culture is rooted in the original way of life. However over time it was possible for people in a particular way of life to borrow this and that from other ways of life, according to what appeared advantageos, that would improve life. So boat peoples in a fishing or trading economy woould happily keep farm animals and gardens. Long distance traders, for example, might grow their own food in their settlements of women, children and elderly.
    As I mentioned above, it is easy to change your way of life if your new way of life is only a little developed from the old. So, given that it was easy for the northern nomadic hunter-gatherer boat peoples to slighty change their way of life to become professional traders, it is obvious that early large scale, long distance, traders of Europe arose from the boat peoples and that the first European large scale trade language arose from them - which would be an early Finnic-type language. If these innovaters establish from their collective behaviour, the large scale European trade system, then all peoples who join the system, in some capacity (manufactureres of products or managers of markets could be derived from surrounding settled peoples). It is clear in many historic examples, that in the end - after some millenia - only a fraction of participants in the trade system would still retain male genes from their origins in boat peoples.
    Common public like to think that language, ancestry, and national culture are connected. This may be true at the end of the Ice Age when human populations were growing and there was very little mixing between different peoples, but the more humankind had contact with each other, and especially after creating large scale (international) trade, the more these parameters could become separate. We can see the extreme of it today, where you could have a black-skinned man in the arctic whose national identity was, say, German, and who spoke Chinese. Such strange combinations area possible today. In ancient times, the Roman Empire recruited men for their armies and work forces from everywhere else in the Roman Empire. In historic times, Hungary was established by traders whose Hungarian language originated with fur trading peoples near the Ural Mountains, probably somewhere in the Ob River basin. But over the past millenium, the economic success of the Hungarian markets drew surrounding peoples into it, and so from a genetic point of view, Hungarians in general have no genetic indication of distant origins in Siberia. A similar story applies to the ancient "Veneti" that had 50 cities (according to a Greek reference) at the north end of the Adriatic Sea before the rise of Rome. They had origins in north-south trade between there and the ancient Danes, particularly involving Baltic amber. The colonies appear to have been established from the north, using the trade language of the amber-trade industry, but once established it drew the regions people into those cities, who in doing so had to change their language. There is a more complex story for the Adriatic Veneti. After the Roman Empire had been created, the Venetic trade system changed its language to suit changes in the distribution of languages. Venedic traders travelling between the Baltic and the Adriatic had to learn Latin or Slavic, depending on whether they took trade routes that went throught the Roman Empire to the northwest Adriatic which required Latin, or trade routes that remained outside the Roman Empire (keeping east of the Rhine) that went through eastern Europe that required Slavic. The original Adriatic Veneti who left behind the famous inscriptions, thus changed their language according to the boundary created by the Roman Empire - Latin to the northwest and Slavic to the northeast.
    As I said above, ORIGINALLY it was difficult for peoples in fertile farming areas to maintain their farming settlements AND also travel further from the settlement than occasionally travel to and from a nearby market by boat or wagon within a day. Of course, as populations grew, as settlement areas took on other economic activity than farming - such as mining ore or creating metal objects - there could be diversification of economic activity. Former farming peoples could become craftsmen, miners, warehouse workers, and indeed even join the shippers. Indeed Roman historian Tacitus wrote in his book "Germania", about legends. It is possible to interpret the legends with FInnic (which in itself suggests Germania did have a Finnic large scale trade language - which we would expect since Germanic settlements before any large scale political union were united only by trade, and would have had as many varying dialects as settlements!)
     In their old ballads (which amongst them are the only sort of registers and history) they celebrate Tuisto, a God sprung from the earth, and Mannus his son, as the fathers and founders of the nation. To Mannus they assign three sons, after whose names so many people are called; the Ingaevones, dwelling next the ocean; the Herminones, in the middle country; and all the rest, Istaevones. .....[Tacitus, Germania, 2]

    The bolded words suggest Estonian õngav 'who angle' dwelling next to the ocean, harjamaa(n) 'of the cultivated land' in the middle country, and ostav 'who purchase (= trade, industry and commerce)' everywhere else.
    The large scale language is Suebic, appearing from such examples of tribe names, to be Finnic but with a tight manner of speech that squeezes U>O, O>A, A>E, E>I, I>[sound break] which was also seen in the Adriatic Venetic that was at the south end of the trade route from the west Baltic. As I say, it would not be surprising that in the Roman Age, the large scale language of the geographical region Romans knew as "Germania" was Suebic-FInnic, since the Germanic settlements were not at that time organized on a large scale. Every settlement had their own dialect and distantly separated Germanic settlements in fact spoke different languages relative to each other. (There has been a misconception that the geographic regions Romans defined, were nations and not simply geographic designations, and as a result scholars have ignorantly assumed Germania was a big nation speaking a universal German, Sarmatia was a nation of Sarmatian speakers, and so on. The mistake is even applied to regions Romans actually conquered and ruled. For example Gaul was assumed to have been originally all Celtic, when in reality there were hundreds of dialects among the immobile settled peoples. And then after conquest it is assumed Celtic survived, when in reality Latin became the official language, while traders spoke a rough Latin mixed with the large scale trade language, which eventually became French.  

Early Trade in the East Mediterranean: Pelasgi and Eneti


    According to ancient historical texts, there were 'sea peoples' in the Mediterranean  who created trouble for land peoples, but the identity of those sea peoples is uncertain. We can assume that original Crete was a home base for early sea peoples. Etruscans, with their pre-Indo-European language may also have belonged to early Mediterranean sea peoples. Meawhile there were also sea peoples travelling up and down the Atlantic coast. They were the makers of the megalithic constructions in places along the Atlantic coast..
    After that came the rise of Phoenician and Greek traders - probably from borrowing the way of life of predecessors. But by that time history records the presence in southeast Europe of "Eneti" in Greek and "Veneti" later in Latin. According to Greek historian Herodotus, even earlier, the region was dominated by peoples called "Pelasgi" I carefully studied everything Herodotus wrote, and compared it to archeology saying that originally barren islands of the Aegean  suddenly came alive with the crafting of trade goods from around 5000 years ago. My conclusion was that the "Pelasgi" were probably traders who accessed the Greek Penisula from the Danube, and created a trade center at Athens. Trading caught on since Herodotuse wrote that the Pelasgi founded Athens, and then began the Hellenes, but then peoples from all around joined the Hellenes. Of course the Hellenes represented the resulting trading sea people in the Aegean. Greek texts often mention coastal peoples who began speaking the Pelasgic language. It appears that the Hellenes originally spoke a Pelasgic lingua franca, and then after the Greeks conquered Mycenea and then Crete and other Aegea islands, the Aegean trade language changed to Greek. Finally Herodotus said that the original "Pelasgi" never grew, which is consistent with their being small trader colonies whose only contribution was to introduce a trading economy at Athens which then assumed a life of its own and gave rise to the "Hellenes" when peoples from all around joined the energy of trade.
    The "Pelasgi" thus could have come from original shipper-traders of the Danube. Their dating would have been 3000 BC. 5000 years ago. The Greek traders of the north side of the Mediterranean and Phoenicians of the south side of the Mediterranean would have developed from around 4,000 years ago. If we find origins of the "Eneti" or "Veneti" in the amber trade, then their date can be determined from archeological information about the earliest amber craftng workshops in the north, and the appearance of Baltic amber in Babylon and Mycenean Greece about that time.


    Most of the story of "UIRALA" (the flooded lands that appeared when Ice Age glaciers melted) began 12,000 years ago, and according to scholars, farming appeared first in southern Europe too about that time. Both were probably the result of climate change. As in the case of the boat peoples, the change was gradual. If the climate was warming, then places in the south such as Asia Minor became increasingly warm and dry. The original animals being hunted, such as wild goats, sheep, and wild cattle, were in trouble when their wild food supply changed and declined. Humans who hunted them would have taken steps to help them, such as not hunting females and young. This involvement would then start a trend in which soon humans were even irrigating lands in order to grow grasses for the animals. Then, in my opinion,. humans were gathering fodder for the animals. Discovering that humans could eat the grass seeds, they took the grains for themselves and gave the animals the pats humans could not digest. Thus it likely the farming of grains may have arisen from growing of fodder for animals formerly hunted. We can see even today wildlife managers putting out food for deer who were struggling in winter. Everyone too is feeding birds in winter. There is something natural in this behaviour. Just as humans always knew how to cross a body of water, so too humans always knew how to help plants and animals survive better. The development of keeping domesticated animals, thus would have continued originally as a hunting-way of life, with some small changes to help the animals. But it would take a while for the full development of the farming way of life. And, like boat use, once one people had figured it out, other peoples could now easily adopt it. It spread into continental Europe. It  did not have to be carried by immigrants. All that was necessary was for groups to travel and witness the new way of life and carry the wisdom back home.

   The development of professional traders could not occur before the development of substantial numbers of settled peoples pursuing farming. Obviously when humans settled down to farm, they were tied to their farmfields, animals, and settlements, and aside from a few young men wishing to explore the larger world and return, they were not capable of trading with or learning about peoples more than some 100 km away. Boat-using hunter-gatherers began by regularly visiting farming people settlements and engaging in trade with them. This was demonstrated in North America in the relationship between the Algonquians and the Iroquoian farming people, the Hurons (Wendat). Because they were not competing over the same resources, they were not competitive, and looked forward to trading wilderness products for farmed products;.
    But at some point some of the boat peoples - perhaps young men exploring the world - went further than the local settlement, and discovered there was a great interest far away for northern products - notably the thick winter furs, or Baltic amber. These young men, not yet married or with children, were free to travel all summer and then return.  Soon the principle of trade is discovered: to procure certain goods where they were inexpensive, and then carry them to another location where they are valuable. The greater the difference, and the easier the travel, the greater the profit.  The professional trader thus moved from settled area to settled area, appearing at markets to obtain goods that they knew elsewhere would be valuable, and to use goods valuable at that location to obtain plenty of those goods. A trader would obviously hide those goods until reaching the location whare they are valuable.
    The important truth is that boat peoples could not become traders until the customers - settled peoples - had developed. If we speak of the building of a European large scale economy, along with trade, industry and commerce, it must be portrayed as a dualtiy between boat peoples and settled peoples. And originally there were two different ways of life since it is impossible for a people to be strongly mobile or strongly industriousn if they were also trying to do the other.
    Originally there was a symbiotic relationship between boat peoples and settled peoples,  There was a duality. This is obvious because there still exists a duality today between the world of trade, industry and commerce on the one hand, and the world of culture and government on the other.  Eventually with the invention of large scale umbrella governments, like that begun by the Roman Empire, the peoples in one way of life came from different histories than the peoples of the other way of life. This is obvious since in early humankind, when there was little organization at higher levels than the natural human formation of extended family units and simple tribes of several family units. Later there were kingdom governments, laws, regulations and policing that permitted  government heirachies and larger governments, and within that organizing it was possible for many ways of life (professions) to be contained within the same system.
    But in the beginning the peoples pursuing different ways of life were distinct from one another, and yet were unified by trade. The unwritten rule was that people of one way of life could not treat on the territory of the other. This is the true reason for the rise of European civilization - the subdivision of humankind into specialtized activities interracting with one another for the benefit of the whole.
    In southeast Baltic, the largest source of ancient trade amber, as Ptolemy and Tacitus descriibe, there were a number of tribes, but their names, interpreted with Finnic suggest each tribe became specialized and that all together they became an economic and industrial confederation. That is why Ptolemy called them all "Venedae races" while Tacitus called them "Aestii nations". This grouping implied a unity. The "Aestii" name can be connected the port/market and that suggests the name was based on what today in Estonian is OSTE 'of the purchasing' in other words 'merchant (people, place, etc)' Ptolemy identified that people probably as Ossi because the implied location was correct.  Tacitus heard "Aestii" because other tribe names to the west suggests the Suebic coastal peoples there spoke in a dialect with more palatalization. I call it the raising of vowels (U>O, O>A, A>E, E>I, I>' )  We have mentioned earlier that the word Venedi was used by Livonians to refer to both the Wends travelling between the Gulf of Riga and Lake Peipus, and the Votes. Expressed as "VENEDE" it is the genitive plural of VENE 'boat' hence meaning 'people of the boat'  (the word VENE continued to be used to refer to the boat peoples in what became Russia, referring to the traders known by Viking times as "Russ"
    In addition the southeast Baltic region had other tribes from which their name can be used to infer a specialized role. For example, the Rugii could be manufacturers of the large dugouts used on rivers, which in Estonian is "ruhi". The tribe named Gothones, were probably the original peoples who maintained the home base and a market, since the word resonated with the Estonian kodu or koju 'of the home (base, colony).  The name Lemovii of a tribe, does not leave a clear meaning as written. Some other interpretations are possible for other tribe names, but there is enough to suggest that the region was organized around the economic activity that revolved largely around the market and mainly in terms of trade in furs and amber.            
      Thus, once southern farming peoples had developed in southeast Europe and had established regional markets accessable with donkeys and camers, it was time to become involved with long distance trade by purchasing goods brought by the strange men with white skin who had come from afar. This happened around 5,000 years ago.
    This situation developed and spread west as agriculture produced more wealthy settlements based on farming-herding. Wealthy settlements were filled with people who were bored from being tied to their farms and settlements, and welcomed exotic goods from far away, and the stories that came with them. Ancient Greece mythology contains elements that came from the north via the amber goods - commonly necklaces. Archeology has revealed amber necklace workshops in the north dated to as much as 4,000 years ago. Greeks called amber Electridas, but that word sound much like Estonian Hellekede Rida 'row of bright things' condensed in a foreign language. The myth of the goddess Leto giving birth to Apollo, assisted by birth goddess Eilythia at the island of Delos is 100% obviously brought by maidens of the southeast Baltic amber peoples ('Hyperborean Maidens') who according to Herodotus made annual pilgrimages from the north to the sanctuaries of Diana/Artemis and Eilythia at Delos. (Interestingly archeology has found that Delos began as an international port/market before becoming religious sanctuaries) These maidens, two at a time, carried the fruits of the first harvest to offer to the goddess. Their arrival was celebrated by the Delians. It follows that the god Apollo was a personification of the lagoon area at the southeast Baltic behind the long sandbar running parallel to the coast just outside the Samland Peninsula which was, before the rebound of the land thousands of years ago, an island. The area was mentioned by Greek traveller Pytheas as "Abalus" which in Finnic as ABA - LA means 'place of the lagoon area'. The tale of the birth of Apollo also identifies a goddess Leto. In Estonian leet, describes the sandbar created by water action, so Leto was a personification of the creation of the sandbars that enclosed the lagoon area. Ancient people personified nature - developed from the aboriginal animistic view of nature. According to Herodotus the pilgrimages had ended by his time (around 500 BC) and that the first fruits were then passed from community to community. Considering also that the significance of goddess Eilythia on Crete (where there still exists today the caves of Eilythia to which mothers-to-be made pilgrimages), the pilgrimages began before the Mycenean Greek invaders converted the  Aegean to Mycenean authority and the Greek language and culture. (Mycenean kings introduced their own Greek deities, but kept the original ones but diminishing their importance. Eilythia was the goddess of births, but was diminished in the Greek world to assisting at births.)  It follows that the ancient Veneti/Eneti, visited the Delos market as early as before  4000 years ago, and Mycenea had not been captured to Greek kings. It means the pilgrimages were originally to a shrine to Eilythia, who would also have seen as the birther of wheat and other crops. The Greeks changed it, but the tradition continued until probably the Scyths, made the journeys dangerous.
    By the time of the pigrimages to Delos, the Pelasgic Aegean had ended, but of course Baltic amber continued to be brought south to the growing Greek civilization. But by that time the Pelasgi were ancient history - Herotodus had difficulty identifying descendants of them in his time. On the other hand the "Eneti" were well established in his world, both at the northwest Adriatic and in "Illyria".
    While connections between Pelasgi and the amber trade is vague, much more ancient writing covers people known as "Eneti" by the Greeks, later "Veneti" by the Romans. They were already by then connected to the amber trade coming from the north via "Eridanus"

Amber and Long Distance Traders Through the Interior of Continental Europe


    Greek historians began to document their world only about 500 BC. The best information comes from a Greek named Herodotus, who travelled to several locations in the western Mediterranean, collecting information from people who would not themselves write it down, including Egyptian priests, oracles, merchants, etc. Around his time, the Persian invasions of Asia Minor prompted the creation of a confederation of tribes around the east Mediterranean and Black Sea to challenge the Persians. This was a major event at the time, and Herodotus set out to  describe it thoroughly, beginning with setting the stage, describing the nature of the Greek world and beyond as thoroughly as he could. His writing reads something like a journalist working on a major assignment. His writing about regions to the north. thus, reflect the best knowledge Greeks had at the time, of peoples and places im the north.
    But by 500 years ago north south trade, as detected by archeological finds of Baltic amber, had been going on now for over 3000 years. Therefore, trade and the associated terminal warehouses and markets were well established in his time. Greek was a large scale trade language along the north shores of the Mediterranean, and the coasts of the Black Sea, while presumably Phoenician was the trade language along the south shore.
    It is important to note that Greek was a widely used trade language, because any traders from the north, once they reached the Mediterranean and Black Seas, would be dealing in the Greek language. The original Pelasgic trade language had all but vanished by Herodotus' time. The markets on the coast of the Black Sea would have been dominated by the Greek language, and if traders originated outside the Greek sphere, they would have to learn Greek as a second language.
    When Herodotus wrote about regions north of the Black Sea, he could only describe basically what traders would know along the two major trade routes of the time - the Dneiper River and the Volga. His description in general was about the "Scyths" who lived in the interior situated around the north and northeast side of the Black Sea. But Herodotus was Greek and it appears the markets had been established by Greek speaking traders. The "Scyths" were land-based people pursuing herding or agriculture. (According to Herodotus, the Scyths called their three tribes "Scoloti" which seems to be like a Greek interpretation of a word somewhat like SCLOVI, SCLAVI. - a cluster of three consonants -SCL- I don't think was found in Greek.)
    Much is known about the trade in the Mediterranean, whether carried on in the Greek or Phoenician language. We know how seagoing trades were competitive, for example how Phoenicians took control of the Strait of Gibraltar to force non-Phoenician traders to submit to taxes or dues to get by. This had the effect of developing the bypass routes between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic such as using the Ebro or Garonne rivers. The Rhone-Loire, or Rhone-Rhine routes were a way to bypass the Iberian Peninsula too.
    Little, however was written by Greeks about long distance trade going through the major rivers of Europe. Only bits and pieces, like the examples of northern myths about amber transposed to Delos from the north, reached the south, and often the public did not remember its northern origins among the "Hyperboreans" 'people beyond the north wind'.
    While there were myths around amber, including tales of origins at "Eridanus", Herodotus and Greeks generally did not know much about how amber and tin, as trade goods, came down to Greece. (It is interesting that he identifies amber and tin as the main products coming from afar. This clearly identifed the "barbarian" traders as the "Veneti" or "Eneti".
    Here is Herodotus's passage about it.

....Of the extreme tracts of Europe towards the west I cannot speak with any certainty; for I do not allow that there is any river, to which the barbarians give the name of Eridanus, emptying itself into the northern sea, whence (as the tale goes) amber is procured; nor do I know of any islands called the Cassiterides (Tin Islands), whence the tin comes which we use. For in the first place the name Eridanus is manifestly not a barbarian word at all, but a Greek name, invented by some poet or other; and secondly, though I have taken vast pains, I have never been able to get an assurance from an eye-witness that there is any sea on the further side of Europe. Nevertheless, tin and amber do certainly come to us from the ends of the earth. [Herodotus 3.115]

    Herodotus was obviously so fed up with poets celebrating amber and associating it with a river called "Eridanus" which they claim was a "barbarian" word, that he claimed poets made up the word. But if poets made it up, would it not use Greek word elements and be desciptive. If you speak the FInnic language of Estonian, and if you believe that the language at the major source of ancient amber - the southeast Baltic - spoken by the "Aestii nations" there as Tacitus phrased it, then Estonian preserves, at least ii major always used words, ancient words of the "Aestii" within a couple days sail to the south of where Estonia is today. (If you have read the previous chapters you will know that I believe in earlier times, before the east Baltic people were immobilized by farming and conquest, there was an "Aestii" trade language (or "Venedic" from Ptolemy's point of view) from the market at the southeast Baltic area up to the Estonian islands, and that this language was removed from south to north by the invasions and conquests of Germanic armies, so that Estonian and Livonian are the only remnants of an East Baltic lingua franca)
    Anyway, if you use Estonian and FInnish to intepret "Eridanus" and accept "danus" as the name of the Danube ("Danus" is still used where it passes through Finno-Ugric Hungary). If the word was FInnic, we note that in Estonian eri means 'alternative', so that suggests that the Eneti/Veneti created an alternative route down to the Mediterranean. It must have been the route to the northwest Adriatic, because according to archeology there was nothing but wilderness in the northwest Adriatic where the Venetic cities/markets arose. By this route, that developed gradually from northern initiatives from 1000 BC, amber came south to Greece via the Adriatic, whereas previously it came from the Danube via rivers north of Greece.
    Herodotus was not a trader or merchant, and obviously Greek speaking merchants in his world would have known more about the north. The Eneti/Veneti would have learned from the merchants they were dealing with that there was a scarcity of tin in the east Mediterranean, and were inspired to look for sources. Finding it in northwest Europe and Britian, they then established their colony at Brittany that they used as a base for fetching tin from Britain and shipping it to the bronze-hungry civilizations in the Mediterranean.
    Herodotus, being more like a reporter, happiy learned some things that were not yet covered by any previous historians.. (most later ancient historians sat in libraries and read and disputed and changed what others had written earlier - which is why Herodotus is most reliable) By visiting the Greek island of Delos, he learned a great deal about the pilgrimages made by the "Hyperborean Maidens" whose travel route, we can presume, may have been the "Eridanus" described above.


    Some - as a result of a long tradition of belittling aboriginal peoples, treating them like wild animals of th forest - will not believe that professional traders could possible develop on its own in the north. Surely Greeks went north! The truth is that professional long distance trade could only have originated among peoples familiar with long distance travel in boats, since all long distance routes were the waterways until Roman obsession thousands of years later, with building long land-roads. But we have to admit that the institution of large markets probably existed in ancient Sumer and Babylon, as people needed to distribute their wares. We are speaking of long distance trade. Population genetics connects Mari men from the lower Volga with Estonian and Finnish men. This was not a development from near the Ice Age, but relatively recently. The ancestors of the Mari would have been closest to Asia Minor civilzations, and learned of markets there. They probably discovered a great demand for thick winter furs, and that began a fir trade.  Archeology shows a significant enlargement of regions of a single material culture of boat peoples in northern Europe around 5,000 years ago. This can only happen if there are professional traders moving wares across tribal territories.
Figure 1

Source: Jaanits et al p 76
(numbers refer to legend in upper left)
1. Typical "Comb-Ceramic Culture" 
2. Maximum extent of the "Comb-Ceramic Culture" (The extent of this is some three times larger than previous archeological groupings of material culture)
3. Volga region "Comb Ceramic" culture began earlier and spread north and northeast, often falsely interpreted as migration, rather than simply professional fur traders from the Volga introducing fur trade, and spreading popular goods in exchange.
4. Kama River and Ural Mountains culture. This too covers a large area for the same reason - professional traders procured furs from there.
5. East Sweden settlement cultures. This means the arrival of farming from borrowing from the south, not from immigration
6. "Funnel-neck Beaker Culture" - the consequence of the original "Maglemose Culture" borrowing the best innovations from the farmers to the south.
7. Farming culturs arising in the farmable highlands.
8. Steppes herder cultures
9. "Upper Dneiper Culture" were certainly becoming involved with amber trade and could be the origins of professional traders specialized in marketing amber to southern civilizations. They were located with equal access to the east Baltic and the Volga.

In general, other than #7 and #8,  the whole region was dominated by boat peoples, except here and there where some  tribes might be  trying farming.  The round bottom of the "Comb-Ceramic" pottery where the pot had to be placed in a net and hung from trees, indicates that the people who used the pot were still nomadic. A flat bottom requires a prepared flat floored permanent abode.
See below how amber was spread through this land, and also travelling south, initially via the Dneiper to southern civilizations.

    While there could have been a wide variety of goods, archeology can only find those that were made of hard materials that survive in the ground. Furs or honey, for example, would not survive. What survived were round bottom pottery decorated with comb-like markings. These were designed for nomadic peoples to be carried in nets and hung from trees at campsites. At that time there were no farming settlements, but the aboriginal Finnic boat peoples did regularly gather annually at an established time and location every year. Traders could visit those and carry on trading activity. Besides the round-bottomed ceramics, another item that survives in the ground is amber.
    Affirming that this was a region crisscrossed by professional traders is the distribution of amber objects. These objects had to travel a long distance.
    Archeology has found and continues to find a trail of amber  down the Dneiper, clearly demonstrating that it was the original amber trade route - the way in which Baltic amber reached tombs in Bablyon dated to before 5,000 years ago.
    But it is important to understand that amber objects were already spreading in the "Comb Ceramic Culture" and the professional traders did not create amber trade especially for southern civilizations. It began in the north, or was concurrent to development of interest in amber in the south. The following map, simplified to only show up to "Comb Ceramic" times (to prove that there was long distance professional traders already in the north 5,000 years ago.)

Figure 2

developed with added colour from Jaanits et al  p 94
NOTE: the items greyed in the legend had been whited out in order to simplify the map to the progression from the southeast Baltic to the widespread distribution in the "Comb-Ceramic Culture" cotained in dashed lines.

    What the map shows is amber finds in the earliest period the Mesolithic found at the source of the amber at the southeast Baltic (#1 green rectangle). As a result of the "Kunda Culture" of the east Baltic coast gathering near the mouth of the Vistula, and casual exchanges. (#2 orange triangles on the east Baltic coast) At this time it is unlikely there were permanent settlements but hunter-gatherers moved through the year through a number of campsites. Next there is the rise of the "Comb-Ceramic Culture". Suddenly (#3 blue dots) the amber objects are found everywhere, suggesting manifacture of amber goods for trade. Note that in early times amber was also washed out of Estonian islands and floated to the coast of the Gulf of Riga. Thus the large number of blue dots further north. The Gulf of Riga amber became depleted - although some can still be found on beaches today - and the source of Baltic amber became the southeast Baltic by the time trade went to ancient Greece. The two further items shown - #4 and #6 are also connected to the "Comb-Ceramic Culture"  #4 indicates amber found also with later pottery, ad #6 indicates finds in burials.
General: In recent times, scholars have falsely claimed the amber trade was carried out by other peoples - ie boatless peoples - which does not make sense when we see the amber trade developing in the "Comb-Ceramic Culture" which reached from the southeast Baltic to the arctic and east to Lake Onega. It was clearly in the hands of boat peoples, who regular boat peoples would have regarded as 'people of the boats' (VENEDE) because they were always travelling in boats. Traders were visitors who could not hunt and gather on the territory of indigenous peoples and therefore could not do anything other than be hosted by natives and carry on trade.


   It is illogical and false to believe that the amber trade was handled by any other people than descendants of boat peoples. For example, Latvian and Lithuanian culture, whose "Balt" languages are closest to Slavic, would not have been located on the east Baltic coast. In fact their myths and legends as well as original words speak of origins in farmlands and meadows. (By contrast Baltic Finnic original words are all about boats, fishing, water, boat travel, water birds.)
    Archeology confirms that "Balt" cultures moved west to the coast in the Roman era, from an original homeland in the regions around Moscow, before the arrival of East Slavs (who became Russians) from the south who pushed them west.
    So it is illogical and erroneous to think that the professional traders of 5000 years ago were "Balt" as opposed to Volga-FInns like the Mari. (There was in recent history a Volgaic people known as Meri - I believe they were descendants of the "Cimmeri", see below)
    There is much to indicate that north-south trade through what became Russia was driven by the "Narva Culture" (located around Narva, Estonia, where Lake Peipus drains into the Gulf of Finland.) The "Narva Culture" is an intermediate stage following the "Comb-Ceramic" period, and it is likely to have become a home base for long distance traders, because down through time there was a major trade route that began at Narva, headed to Lake Peipus, and continued to the headwaters of the Dneiper River which was the major trade route down to the Black Sea. Estonians in recent history called the peoples there the Votes - in Estonian Vadjad, which is remarkably like Estonian vedaja 'transporter'. Furthermore the Livonians included them under the term Venede '(people) of the boats'.
    But the Dneiper was also reached from the river today called Dvina, but in Estonian Vaina. Archeology has found much amber along the route to the marshes by which boats reach the Dneiper. This could be because there was in earlier times a source of amber in Estonian islands, and after storms amber floated into the Gulf of Riga.
    This may have been the case in the "Comb-Ceramic" period. Figure 2 shows a large concentration of amber finds in what is now Latvia. The earliest amber may have travelled from there, before amber travelled south from the southeast Baltic. This makes sense, considering that Baltic amber in tombs of Babylon arrived there a millenium earlier than in Mycenean Greece. The early amber to Greece may have come from the Jutland Peninsula source and travelled down the Danube. The Danube route may have been the one dominated by Pelasgi. The Pelasgi may have originated as boat peoples of the Rhine, and their descendants may have been the Belgae.
    But in those early times, there would not have been any "Balts" on the east Baltic coast, nor any East Slavs in the highlands of the interior. It would have been all Finnic peoples, traders or not.
    Peoples south of the Livonians were the Curonians. South of them would have been the peoples of the sandbars and Neris River and they too would have been transporting wares to the Dneiper. (The Dneiper was in Finnic called NIIST-RA meaning 'route arising from the wetlands') Today the Lithuanians are there, and Estonians call them Leedu. Recall that this name actually described people of the sandbars. I believe that the original Finnic east Baltic coast was assimilated by military invaders, progressively from south to north. All Finnic coastal peoples south of Estonia were assimilated into foreign military conquerors mostly in the last millennium.
    There is another source of information that identifies the "Balt" cultures of the interior highlands.
    We return to Herodotus for some insights. He wrote that  before his time around 500 BC, there had been breakaway from the Royal Scyths (the leading tribe of the Scyths, situated in the Ukraine region). The Latvians and Lithuanians - "Balts" - fit the description if we agree that the three Scythic tribes were the origins of the west, east and south Slavs.
    The actual quote is:
.... Beyond these people [ hunting people called Thyssagetae and another called Iyrcae , in farthest known reaches of Scythic traveller contacts] , a little to the east, dwells a distinct tribe of Scyths, who revolted once from the Royal Scythians, and migrated into these parts.  [Herodotus, The Histories, 4, 22]

    Herodotus is saying that there were, in his times, Scythic-like (Slavic-like) peoples in the north who arose from a breakawa from the Royal Scyths. Given that "Balt" languages, are akin to Slavic, it is quite obvious that the "Balts" arose from the same Scythic origins as later northward migrations from the Ukraine area of the East Slavs, who became the modern "Balts". Obviously there was much intermarriage with the indigenous peoples, and borrowing of words.
    Today, Slavs avoid associating themselves with the Scyths described by Herodotus but that presents us with the problem of where did the Slavs come from, if not from the Scyths. People do not suddenly disappear in a few centuries since Herorodus. Furthermore the region the Romans called "Sarmatia" was a geographical designation, and should not be identified with a people called "Sarmatians". The region was dominated by those we call Slavs today. It is obvious,
    Herodotus did not learn much about the north from the Greek ports on the north shore of the Black Sea. Traders/merchants and land-based people coexisted since they did not tread on each other's territories. But as I said, trade along the Black Sea coasts and Mediterranean north coast was now advanced and in a Greek language. But Herodotus provided some evidence of an earlier time, when there were "Cimmeri" who the Scyths conquered and displaced.
. .For the land which is now inhabited by the Scyths was formerly the country of the Cimmerians. ......... Scythia still retains traces of the Cimmerians; there are Cimmerian castles, and a Cimmerian ferry, also a tract called Cimmeria, and a Cimmerian Bosphorus.  . . (Herodotus, 4.11-12)
    The Crimean Peninsula was called "Maeotis" which interprets well with Finnic maa ots 'end of land', and the people in the marshes between the Sea of Azov and the Volga, by which Volga traders could reach the Black Sea, were called "Sauromatae" which can be paralleled with Finnic  SOO/SUO 'marsh" RA(TA) 'way, route'  MAAD 'lands' giving '(people) of the 'marsh-route lands'.  A Finnic word survives today in the Gulf of "Taganroog" which translates as '(gulf) beyond, behind, the reeds', implying that the end of the gulf is nothing but reeds.
    The name Sauromatae is the obvious origins of the Roman word for the region just north of the Black Sea, and Scythia was north of it. In Herodotus everything north of the Black Sea was "Scythia". The Sauromatae would have been well known to Greeks, and then Romans, because they handled the movement of boats through the swamps linking the Volga to the Sea of Azov. Romans named regions from the most prominent peoples to them.
    But also significant are the peoples Herodotus knew as "Cimmeri".  This word ends with MERI, which resonates with the Volgic Finns, the Mari or another historic tribe actuallly called Meri closer to Lake Onega. They were most likely to have been the traders, and therefore  Cimmeri were traders. The word meri in Estonian means 'sea' but considering that the Volga was known as RA  (Rha in Greek) then Cimmeri could be viewed as a distortion of an original  EMA-RA 'mother-way,route'. Since Finnic strongly emphasized the first syllable it sounded like HEMA-RA. We now raise the vowels (U>O, O>A, A>E, E>I, I> ' ) and it becomes HIME-RE  which now sounds like the Greek Cimmeri, the double M representing the initial stress.
    If we link the word to the original word Welsh called themselves Cymmru, and in Roman times there were Cimbri at the north end of the Jutland Peninsula. It suggests the Cimmeri were the earliest long distance traders, who may have circumnavigated Europe, with the Volga being the eastern link. They would have also used the Dneiper.  They could have been called VENEDE since that word is generic. In early Europe or anywhere early, things were names by describing them. There were no terms covering a large body of peoples until there was a visible unity in their appearance and behaviour.
    Therefore we should not try to arbitrarily divide peoples mentioned in ancient texts according to their names. They could have been the same people where observers heard different descriptive names.
    However, by the Bronze Age, when a large trade system was established and unified by the same use of boats, carrying goods, and speaking basically the same lingua franca, it was possible to speak of them all with the same "Eneti" or "Veneti" name.


    The truth of early peoples being names by various ways observers described them, includes variations in the VENETI name. These same people could be identified as traders, shippers, sellers-of-goods. There could be other words use to describe them sometimes. Of course the most noticable characeristic was that they were always seen in the river boats.  There were two ways of describing a people - '(people) of the boat (singular)' or VENE, and '(people) of the boats (plural) or VENEDE.
     VENE, referred to the dugout river boat, but where did it come from. The obvious answer is that it originates with the word for water which was VEE (probably originally VII given the parallels we found earlier in Algonquian and Inuit described in earlier chapters) The N marked the genitive. The nominative of the original word for boat was probably VEEND 'an object associated with water'  and from that came VENE(N) (Genitive). In recent Estonian the historic Veneti called the "Wends" were known as Võnd, stem for genitive and endings  Võnnu-  (the õ sound is like a rounded A) Finnish however said Venta a name found in many locations in Ptolemy's Britain.  Tacitus mentioned "Fenni" as well as Venedi at the southeast Baltic, which in Germanic lanuages became "Finni", but because Finnic did not have the F sound, it is likely the origins were in  VEENE (the initial stress being represented in Latin with the doubled N as in VENN-)
   Other names could be derived from it, such as VENEDE-LA  (origin of historic Vandali name) would mean '(people) of the land of boats' or  VENE-LA '(people) of the land of the boat' (origin of the Vinelli name) There were other names too, that appeared in ancient historical texts. For example an expression meaning 'land of the boat' would be VENELA, and from this could come Venelli, or Vandali . Since these people were also merchants, there would be names based on the Finnic word for 'merchant, buyer' of the form OSTE or OSTJA. Spoken in a more palatalized dialect (O>A, A>E, E>I) it would be ASTI or ASTJI or even ESTI. (It explains why Tacitus called the people at the southeast Baltic, "Aestii" for the same peoples Ptolemy called "Venedi". It is proven by neither historical texts nor archeology finding any replacement of culture in that location during the period between Ptolemy's source information and Tacitus')
    When I interpreted the Adriatic Venetic inscriptions, I found that they did not recognize the "V" sound at the start. In fact Roman "Veneti" too used a "V" that sounded like "W" - "WENETI". Greeks wrote the northern "Venedi" name with "OUENEDI"   Thus the modern "V" sound is a recent historic development even in Estonian and FInnish (old texts used the "W" character).
    The Greek language obviously had difficulty with the intial sound which they wrote as OU-  It makes sense that they would drop it and say "ENETI".  The Adriatic Veneti wrote the word with .e.nnod  The dots around the initial E represented an unusual initial sound that was caused by Finnic having a strong emphasis on the initial syllable. This could also the the reason Tacitus wrote Fenni or Phenni  (Scandinavian dialects raised it to FINNI) Furthermore the Adriatic Veneti used the word most often in singular as in .e.nno  And the meaning had developed into meaning 'shipper'.
    Thus we should not speak of the "Veneti" of historic texts as if they were a single large tribal nation. Just as today when we say 'boat people', or 'shipper', it applies to all kinds of peoples involved primarily with boats - it describes a way of life. However, for that word to be meaningful all participants would have to speak Finnic. When the language of the shippers was lost, and they began speaking Latin, Slavic, Germanic, Celtic, then the original generic meaning was not found in the name any longer, and the name could now drift in new directions.
    Although certainly one portion of the long distance trade world, became very strong, and developed the long distance trade networks, and acted like a single unity, it is incorrect to imagine a single large political unit. Instead there were numerous families and tribes (unions of a number of families) all acting in concert - in much the same way as today the world of industry, trade, and commerce is unified across many participating peoples. In addition, they were tied together by using the same large scale trade language. This would be analogous to how most world-wide trade predominantly uses English, and other languages are regional or local.
    In our discussions, we must avoid the modern concepts of political nations. We must think of large coordinated systems like today (minus all the technology of today)  When thinking in this way we can believe that there was a commonly used trade language that was probably Finnic, while the people involved could have been derived from different peoples and races.  

The Ancient "Veneti" or "Eneti" as a large scale organizing of long distance trade


      While historians have acknowledged Greek-speaking traders in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, and Phoenicians mainly following the south Mediterranean coast, there has been little concern about who the "barbarians" were who were bringing tin and amber to Greece in Herodotus' time. Were the traders north of the Mediterranean simply haphazardly travelling down the Danube when the mood struck them. Were they waving to their competitors as they passed? Was there no large scale system in place like there was in the Mediterranean?
  Long distance trade across the north and south along the Atlantic coast and down major rivers was probably even more sophisticated and complex than the Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, ships simply sailed the sea from one port to another. There were fewer navigation challenges. Julius Caesar, in his description of the Veneti ships, mentioned how his ships were not adapted to the northern seas.

    Throughout the history of the Baltic boat peoples, there was a development of seagoing craft. Archeology can find remnant evidence that for seagoing craft, there were large dugouts made of giant oaks, which held three pairs of oarsmen and one helmsman with a steering oar. The experience on the sea became a stepping stone to continuing to harvest the sea in the arctic. We covered how the skin boat developed in the arctic where trees were too small for any wooden craft larger than a single-person dugout. But the skin boat, once developed could be a large one, able to bounce around in ocean waves.
    In the Baltic, where there were large trees suitable for making large dugouts, ships made of wood continued. But even the largest oaks could not produce dugouts beyond the size that held seven men for travel or five men if the middle pair of men was replaced by wares.  There were attempts to make larger boats by adding to the sides. But ultimately the inspiration for very large boats, ships, came from the concept of the skin on a frame, that descended south from arctic Norway. When the frame was very large, there were many ways of adding the skin. The ultimate solution was to make it out of planks and making the spaces between the planks water-tight with tar.
    What I am discussing now is the way boats continued to evolved after it was copied everywhere. Every new use called for modification.  Most revolutionary was the development of the ocean-going ship used for trade.
    Where it began is hard to determine. Perhaps it occurred when it became necessary to move heavy wares, like metal ores, between distant locations. The larger the ship, the more could be carried. 
    By the Bronze Age, there was a great need for the copper and tin used to produce bronze, and according to archeology, a great amount of copper was removed from northern Wales in a very early period (by Cimmeri?). We do not know where the copper went, but we know that by the time of the ancient Veneti centuries before the Roman Empire, British tin went all the way to the east Mediterranean. The "Veneti" based in Brittany may have simply been earlier traders - even "Cimmeri" - but now differently named by the world. If the "Cimmeri" spoke Finnic, then they would have known the word VENEDE . From what we learned of them from Julius Caesar's writing, they were regularly travelling to Britain. Their base of operation in Brittany was close to the mouth of the Loire, and we can conclude they passed wares to river traders of the Loire, as well as carrying wares by ship as far as the east Mediterranean.
    No large scale trading arises automatically. First there has to be peoples with boats who make large scale trade possible. It is therefore likely that there were, in the Mediterranean, sea peoples (historical texts speak of "sea peoples") active in the Mediterranean. These peoples would not have spoken Greek or Phoenician, but perhaps the language spoken by ancient Crete. The ancient Crete culture is a mysterious one, that was dominated by women. It had numerous goddesses. Nations dominated by women signify circumstances in which the men are absent, which is consistent with the men being long distance traders, away for many months at a time.


    The easiest approach to the ancient Veneti is in terms of the amber trade, because archeology has found and continues to find evidence of the appearance of Baltic amber in southern ancient civilizations, particularly Hellenic Greece, and from dropped amber the routes it took to their destination. (The Baltic origin of amber is determined by spectroscopic analysis. When a small piece of the amber is burned, the spectrum of the flame will reflect a distinct character of  Baltic amber.)
     There has been a tradition in the academic world to ignore all aboriginal peoples of the world, and to imagine that all innovations or significant developments in modern civilization were created by civilizations, and that aboriginal peoples were as no better than wild animals. As a result there has and is a reluctance still in the academic world of attributing something as significant as the amber trade, and the expansion of "Veneti" to the descendants of the northern aboriginal peoples. The notion that ancient Greeks went north and obtained raw amber, and took it south, is in general untrue.  Polish archeology is finding remains of amber crafting workshops at the southeast Baltic, dating to as much as 4,000 years ago. They were rounding, polishing and drilling holes in amber pieces and making amber necklaces. Even earlier, amber destined for trade was being shaped into necklaces and amulets.
    The reason the amber had to be made into products is simple - a chunk of amber is just an interesting rock. As with all jewelery, the natural material has to be shaped into a final product. The orginal amber traders created necklaces and things according to their original traditions, and presented that to customers, including customers in southern civilizations.
    Later in history,. VENEDE traders with established merchants in the south could deliver raw amber which would be employed in necklaces made in the south. But for the most part, in ancient history, the peoples at the source of amber had to promote and market the amber because - unlike copper or tin - it was a jewelery product and was not necessary like other goods that were worn, eaten, or made into tools. The need to keep promoting amber jewelery resulted in northern myths surrounding amber,  - from Eridanus, to tears of Heliades, to birth of Apollo at Delos- becoming established in ancient Greece.


    In order for a large scale trade system to grow, it has to be profitable. It has to generate wealth among all people involved, from suppliers to shippers to merchants. While certainly there were northern goods that were recieved well in the south, such are luxurious furs, the most profitable of goods was amber, and those people who handled it benefited from it. It was very light, and if valued by weight, was probably more valuable than gold!
    We can guess that the early traders who came down the Dneiper or Volga, and went to Asia Minor, notably Babylon, had many challenges that made the cost of marketing the amber a little high - for example the amber had to travel a long distance and deal with the developed trade system of Asia Minor that was run by the Assyrians.
    The Veneti, known in Greek as "Eneti", probably had to establish colonies on the south shore of the Black Sea, which in addition needed to acquire camels and mules and participate in the overland caravans down through Asia Minor. Of course it was also possible to proceed by boat to the Mediterranean and down the coast. Furthermore there was a need to develop a demand for a luxury product. Unlike furs, honey, or other practical northern products, amber - although attractive and with special electrical properties - was just a peculiar material until its use in jewelery, health, or other purposes was promoted.
    It as necessary to present to customers a final product.
    I believe that amber really took off as a desirable product in ancient Greece. If the "Pelasgi" were from the same traders except under another name, and they found the original Greek peninsula only containing poor farmers (as archeology affirms) they had the power to create markets at Athens and Mycenea that introduced and stimulated manufacture for trade and commerce in the Aegean.
    If the "Pelasgi" were in fact VENEDE under another name like HELAS, they may have stimulated the amber trade, perhaps by introducing actual finished amber products like necklaces.  No longer a chunk of material, amber in finished form would have been sought by every woman.
     Let us look at what Herodotus wrote about the "Pelasgi"  They may not have been the "Veneti" who came south via the Dneiper from the Baltic, but they belonged to the same growing trade system. There is much in Herodotus' description that intersects with peoples described as "Veneti" or "Eneti". We are reminded that in the southeast Baltic, while the tribes of the entire region were collectively called "Venedi" or "Aestii" nations, each tribe had a name associated with their role. Therefore it would not be unusual if throughout the trade system a distinction was made between the mobile shippers (the boat people) and the managers of the terminal colonies (which could be called 'home-base people'). Thus when considering the access to Greece from the north, there would have been both Eneti/Veneti and home people or (Estonian) Kodu, and Greek history affirms there were "Getae" north of Greece.
    So the word Pelasgi may similarly originate from a descriptive word related to what they did. I offered the idea earlier that it may relate to amber as we can see HELAS in it,
    What did Herodotus reveal about the "barbarian" origin and influence in the Greek region?
    What the language of the Pelasgi was I cannot say with any certainty. If, however, we may form a conjecture from the tongue spoken by the Pelasgi of the present day - those, for instance, who live at Creston above the Tyrrhenians [Etruscans], who formerly dwelt in the district named Thessaliotis [Thessaly area at the mouth of the Vardar (Axios) that would have been a south terminus of the river route], and were neighbours of the people now called the Dorians - or those again who founded Placia and Scylace upon the Hellespont, who had previously dwelt for some time with the Athenians - or those, in short, of any other of the cities which have dropped the name but are in fact Pelasgian; ......
Herodotus is discussing the remnants of the Pelasgi around 500 BC after Greek language has been established. If the Pelasgi were traders, their colonies would have been in locations suitable to handle goods descending from the north. Herodotus mentions a colony in northern Etruria close to trade routes that came down the Rhone. Were the Pelasgi related to the original Etruscans? Thessaliotis represented a colony at the mouth of the Vardar River (anciently called Axios) and the name resonates with the Estonian tee(se) alu 'base, lower part, of the road'. It is also interesting that Herodotus mentions that Pelasgi were at Athens, and then founded Placia and Scylace upon the Hellespont, which agrees with the probability that the allies of Troy were still Pelasgic, and the Iliad was an allegory of the ancient conflict between the competition between Greek and Pelasgic a trade languages, and the corresponding west and east side of the Aegean. Let us continue his discription.(My underlining for special attention.)

.....if, I say, we are to form a conjecture from any of these, we must pronounce that the Pelasgi spoke a barbarous language. If this were really so, and the entire Pelasgic race spoke the same tongue, the Athenians, who were certainly Pelasgi, must have changed their language
[to Greek!] at the same time that they passed into the Hellenic body [grew the world of trade in the Aegean] ; for it is a certain fact that the people of Creston speak a language unlike any of their neighbours, and the same is true of the Placianians, while the language spoken by these two people is the same; which shows that they both retain the idiom which they brought with them into the countries where they are now settled. [Looks like Pelasgic speaking tribes were fleeing the Mycenean Greek influences around Athens, etc]
Herodotus basically writes that Pelasgi began the Athens trade center, and we can presume that this trade center was a success and promoted trade in the Aegean and the formation of the Hellenes, who originally spoke Pelasgic, and with the arrival of Greek powers to Mycenea from the north, and their conquest of the Aegean trade centers, turned the common trade language to Greek.
     If I am correct that the word "Pelasgi" was originally more like HELAS or HELLAS, it is probable that the name "Hellenes" was actually derived from it, at the Athens market. (This helps affirm interpreting Pelasgi with HELAS- (An interesting observation - if natives had olive skin, the Pelasgi might have been very white, an adaptation to improve absorption of vitamin D from the sun, and all FInnic HELE words mean 'light', 'pale', 'bright', as well as being used for jewelery like amber.)
[1.58] The Hellenic race has never, since its first origin, changed its speech. [But Herodotus said earlier they changed languages as Athens grew, so this is puzzling. But what he may mean is that originally the Hellenic body of seagoing trading peoples spoke Pelasgic - that the switch to Greek was not sudden] This at least seems evident to me. It was a branch of the Pelasgic, which separated from the main body, and at first was scanty in numbers and of little power; but it gradually spread and increased to a multitude of nations, chiefly by the voluntary entrance into its ranks of numerous tribes of barbarians. The Pelasgi, on the other hand, were, as I think, a barbarian race which never greatly multiplied.   Herodotus[1.57 -1.58]
    The Pelasgi did not multiply in their original language, because they were there only as a trade colonies, in my opinion, serving traders from the north. The Hellenes composed of all kinds of peoples who joined the Aegean seatrade world, began Pelasgic, but eventually converted to a Greek trade language. The original Pelasgi, being trade colonies at the north south route terminals, retained the language of their trade system to the north.
    The following reveals some more:
     His inquiries pointed out to him two states as pre-eminent above the rest. These were the Lacedaemonians [In south of Peloponnesus, ancient Greece where Sparta was located - this may represent the peoples who originated Mycenea in northeast Peloponnesus] and the Athenians, the former of Doric, the latter of Ionic blood. And indeed these two nations had held from very, early times the most distinguished place in Greece, the being a Pelasgic, the other a Hellenic people, and the one having never quitted its original seats, while the other had been excessively migratory;...
Herodotus is unclear as he wrote also that the Pelasgi founded Athens, but then Athens was taken over by the Hellenes. The Hellenic people were formed out of all indigenous people joining the new energetic world of trade in the Aegean, hence became migratory. Herodotus continued, once again using the name "Hellenes" for locations he earlier associated with Pelasgi.
 ......for during the reign of Deucalion, Phthiotis was the country in which the Hellenes dwelt, but under Dorus, the son of Hellen, they moved to the tract at the base of Ossa and Olympus, which is called Histiaeotis; ....
Ossa resonates with Finnish iso 'large, big, great' and Olympus resonates with Estonian ülim pea 'highest peak' (Similar in Finnish)

.....forced to retire from that region by the Cadmeians, they settled, under the name of Macedni, in the chain of Pindus....

This move may not have been forced migration, but the result of development of the Veneti trader routes through the Pindus mountains from the original route that came from the Danube down the Vardar/Axios. Today's Macedonia which name resonates with Macedni, actually is a pure descriptive word which in Estonian is mägede(n) '(people) of the mountains'. Herodotus' description of the route taken by the Hyperborean Maidens through the Pindus, reflect this route. Furthermore, there is a location where the trade route that descended from the Danube down to Greece via the Vardar/Axios meets the route across the mountains. This move was therefore not a forced or arbitrary one, but a strategic one to develop this overland connection to Greece from the Adriatic coast, perhaps because the one from the Danube may have become more difficult for some reason (competitors or enemies).

 Hence they once more removed and came to Dryopis; and from Dryopis having entered the Peloponnese in this way, they became known as Dorians.

Once again Herodotus mentions Peloponnese and the Dorians. This may suggest that amber trade coming down the east coast of the Adriatic also could continue to the Peloponnese. The Pindus mountain route would not have been abandoned. Maybe there was always a trade route down the east Adriatic coast, but the new development was to go inland and cross the Pindus Mountains.
    Reflecting on the whole story, the word Dorians, could originate from the FInnic word for 'market' which is in Estonian turu or turi  Hence the Dorians could have meant '(people) of markets. The origins of the word "Hellenes" has already been discussed as probably arising from Pelasgi in an original HELLAS form.
     All the interpretations above resonate well if you know Estonian and Finnish, and the story of the Venetic amber trade, free of the misinformation developed in academia over the centuries.
    There is more evidence to the story of Veneti of Macedonia, or the region of Illyria in general, but there is no room in this article. My intent was to show that the descent of boat peoples into long distance trade affected the origins of ancient Greece. Perhaps similar stories can be found elsewhere at the southern terminals of north-south trade, but there is a limit to how much a single person can research.

    Since Herodotus mentioned the "Eneti" in the north Adriatic, and in Illyria  (region north of Greece and east of the Adriatic) and his descriptions place events that can be connected to them before his time, it is obvious that the ancient "Eneti/Veneti" terminals and markets both in the north end of the Adriatic, and the crossing of the Pindus into Illyria, were already in existence in his time around 500 BC.
    This means a large trade system was already firmly established. This is affirmed by Herodotus saying that tin and amber was being brought by "barbarians" "from the ends of the earth".
    Above we have discussed the earlier times, either from archeolological information or how Herotodus discusses the past from his time - perhaps even referring to  events going back to before 2,000 BC
    The question I had was - if I am so certain the northern boat peoples, speaking an early version of Finnic language - was the language in this early trade system, really FInnic?
    It so happens that the Adriatic Eneti/Veneti borrowed the Etruscan alphabet and modified it a little for their own language, and inscribed their language on various objects which, on hard materials, have survived to be discovered by archeologists.
    The traders identified with the "Eneti" or "Venedi" or "Veneti" created their own termnals at the south ends of their river trade routes, and intermediate markets. In terms of shippers on the sea the "Veneti" belonged to the large scale shippers across the northern seas, and down the Atlantic coast. In the Mediterranean they may not have been historically identifiable if they spoke the standard Greek trade language,
    In the Mediterranean, the reality was that there was no specific Greek large scale trader people, but rather there were many shipper peoples, but all working with the Greek trade language. It is only in the interior of Europe and in the northern seas, where the Greek language was unknown, that the traders there were a mystery to ancient Greek historians. They were "barbarians".
    If the "barbarian" language of trade in the interior of Europe and across the northern seas was not Greek, what was it? In Greek the word "barbarian" simply meant they spoke an unknown language.


  After becoming aware of the inscriptions found in northern Italy northwest of Venice I wondered what they looked like and whether I could detect Finnic in it.
    I discovered that past attempts to decipher the inscriptions had blindly assumed Venetic was a particular language, and then tested it. Originally the assumption was it was a northern Etruscan, but it was not pursued (besides Etruscan is little understood). Next because Herodotus made a mention of "Eneti" in Illyria, but that was abandoned. When in the 1960's someone suggested Venetic was an archaic Latin, great interest developed because Latin is a well known language and any linguist would know Latin and relish the chance to discover Latin words in Venetic. Had this lead to amazing results, then the linguists would not have proposed retreating to simply "an ancient Indo-European". Furthermore it would not have given room for some Slovenian scholars, motivated by nationalism, to claim that the ancient Veneti spoke Slavic in a Slovenian manner. This may be true when considering peoples with such a name in the post Roman era. The large system was broken up by the rise of the Roman Empire, and different parts of it assimilated into their local cultures. The post Roman "Veneti"-name peoples changed to many cultures - Latin, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic -  so it was valid to claim Latin, Celtic, Germanic, or Slavic "Veneti"-named peoples existed AFTER the end of the Roman Empire. There was no basic by any scholar for projecting truths from the  historic era back  in time to  Adam and Eve.
    My approach to determining the true character of the ancient Venetic language found in the inscriptions was to see if I could get the archeological objects and their contexts themselves reveal some words. The methodology would be analogous to a deaf person visiting a foreign country, visiting a supermarket and learning words from labels on food bins, on packages, etc. and then more words from newspaper headings, captions under pictures etc. There was no desire to project Estonian or Finnish into the Venetic. Traditional deciphering of Venetic was linguistic - the sentences were removed from their context. My method was analogous to how modern languages are learned by "immersion". By studying everything available from the archeological interpretations around the objects with the inscriptions, one can imagine entering the world of these people and then be able to infer what the inscriptions most probably say - and certainly what they certainly cannot say.


The methodology I used relied mostly on the translations being guided by the archeological context. This at least shows what the inscription should generally mean, or what it cannot mean. Once some words are translated, it can be used for leverage to reveal more.
Once we have one or two words, and they are also in another inscription, that reduces the unknowns in the other inscription so much that, along with the context information, the unknowns are revealed. This methodology thus could go very far without any reference to a known language. Past methodology has failed because it simply assumed Venetic was Latin-like Slavic-like etc and then tried to 'hear' the language in the Venetic and then manipulate things to get some kind of result. Past methodology did not pay much attention to the archeologically determined information. The translations forced on sentences thus were generally do strange compared to the archeological information about the object, that the greatest critics have been archeologists who are accustomed to interpret the archeological information. In my methodology I used the archeological information as much as possible, which, coupled with human nature, revealed a great deal about what the inscriptions said.
Both the translation of words and grammatical endings were discovered together in this process. All languages have stems to which endings are added, so that grammatical endings are revealed when the same stem is observed to have different endings. The translation then reveals the nature of the grammatical marker, which then can be tested in all locations it appears.
Before much of the work was done in this way, many results showed similarities to Finnic. The methodology almost never made a meaning decision from Finnic parallel, but rather, the Finnic parallels - if found - were used to refine the meanings already determined.
Since linguists say that grammar changes most slowly, I proceeded with the assumption that IF Venetic was Finnic, there should still be noticable similarities to Finnic grammar. This allowed me to use some of the major Finnic grammatical markers to help me refine the grammar a little further than what was already obvious from the original methodology.
I began with a very scientific methodology in which you gather together all the inscriptions to be used (I took all the complete sentences I could find because the methodology does not work on fragments that obscure grammatical structure) I then proceeded with the objective of presenting the results for ALL at the end, even if some results are not very good. At the end I presented the results of ALL. Only a handful out of close to a hundred inscriptions, were troublesome because of lack of data, All the Roman era inscriptions , written in the Roman alphabet, posed problems because almost none of them were proper sentences, and there were proper names and abbreviations - urn inscriptions taking the common form of funerary markers today - mostly the name of the deceased plus one or two funerary words.
I revealed enough grammar that it is easy to create original new sentences, limited though, to the words found in the inscriptions.

  I firmly discovered that Venetic was Finnic, but most of it appearing to show the shifting of vowels I mentioned above for Suebic. (U>O, O>A, A>E, E>I, I> ' or H) There was also indication of strong palatalization like in Danish, south Swedish and Livonian.
    I found some archeological inscriptions existed in Brittany and Wales, that also were in Venetic - although the number of examples were few, since inscribing objects was rare there before Romans introduced writing.
    I managed to provide translations for almost all complete sentences I could find in my source catalogues. I eventully rationalized grammar and word stems enough to create a lexicon and grammar. I presented the grammar with parallels to Estonian and FInnish grammar.
    The resulting sentences all made sense for the contexts in which they occurred. Similar object tended to say the same thing in different ways. There was so much success that it is impossible to claim I invented it all. All previous work barely achieved anything believable, and decieved the public by selecting a few results that sounded good.
    My purpose was not scholarly success, but my own personal interest what the inscriptions said.  My deciphering revealed that these people had very much the same general religious world-viwe as in Christianity - belief in a single deity located infinitely far away and the prayers sound very much like in Christian practices. EXCEPT the deity appears to be the goddess Greeks and Romans called Rhea. This goddess predated Greek gods, and was known far and wide by the time of the rise of Greek culture around 4000 years ago. Herodotus makes reference to her as Mother of the Gods, worshipped towards the east bordering the Scyths. The Scyths, according to Herodotus were extremely male-dominant who worshipped a god of war, and who fiercely detested peoples who worshipped the female deity. Roman historian Tacitus wrote in his book, "Germania" that the "Aestii" (at the southeast Baltic amber source) "worshipped the Mother of the Gods"  which is one of the indications that the amber traders worshipped Rhea everywhere. Other differences with modern Christian practices is that in the ancient Mediterranean there existed the practice of animal offerings, but on close inspection this practice was a way of achieving the slaughtering of a farm animal in as dignified way as possiible. Nothing could be more dignified as offering the spirit of the animal to Rhea, while roasting the meat. As one sees in the epic poem Odyssey, the offerings would be the beginnings of a feast. This truth that the Veneti inscriptions show greatest regards to Rhea, flies in the face of traditional attempts to decipher the inscriptions, by turning all troublesome parts of the text into meaningless proper names of deities.
    Humans naturally have always seen death as an eternal sleep, and inscriptions on tomb markers and cremation urns repeatedly percieve the deceased going into an eternal sleep, and joining Rhea in that distant eternal place. The inscriptions within a category of context tend to say the same thing over and over in different ways. The cremation urn inscriptions from the Venetic era when the inscriptions were in the Venetic alphabet, are less formal than inscriptions intended to be viewed above ground. Thus inscriptions on urns and other objects that will be out of sight in family tombs or cemetaries, often seem casual, informal, with varying content. Some may mention the deceased's profession, country of origin. Most however are wishes for the journey to the afterlife. Interestingly, contrary to what the false interpretations claim, the inscriptions do not give proper names - not until the Veneti became Romanized and began following Roman conventions. It makes sense that if inscriptions disappeared into tombs, they were private to the family who owned the tombs. When you think of it, it was only necessary to name the deceased if the buried person was connected to a site and needed to be identified for a visitor. Furthermore Romans took an inventory of all peoples in their empire, so every person had to be identified with a name.  It was needed for regulation and taxation.
    When archeology uncovered a cemetary or a sanctuary to Rhea where offerings and prayers were made, they will tend to hit a jackpot of objects with inscriptions on them. Thus the inventory of inscriptions that have been found to date is dominated by the religious inscriptions. There  are also what look like memorials to special events in which people say 'goodbye' to some people or a person. Obviously writing was not restricted to inscriptions of formal nature such as those pertaining to cemetaries and sanctuaries. Now and then farmers or construction projects come across isolated objects with writing on them such as household items like flower vases, thus proving that writing was probably as widespread as Greek writing - including graffitti. Archeology simply does not find them in concentrations, not if the writing was on objects that disintegrated in the ground.
    In general, the Venetic inscriptions in my methodology revealed very much the same things we might see today, if relatives of deceased were still permitted to write their own messages. Of course homemade everyday objects could be inscribed by a label. It could be similar to how today we may label a jar of beans 'beans'. In addition craftsmen who manufactured goods to trade, would add a suitable inscription that would be attractive to the buyers of the item. The addition of writing was special.


           UIRALA covered  the development and expansion of the original boat peoples arising from the sudden climate warming and glacial melting that occurred in northern Europe from 12,000 -6,000 years ago. After this the boat-oriented way of life continued to expand, including into long distance trade that propelled the development of a European civilization. There is no value in continuing the story past the Roman era. After the Roman Empire, the original Europe was dramatically changed, in practically every respect as it began a journey to the world we have today.


A Summary

This article summarizes my documenting of my study of the ancient Venetic inscriptions from a new approach that avoided the traditional attempts  to prove a preconcieved false assumption and generally achieving strange or limited results.


Since this webpage has been constantly updated - edited and changed - many sources and references are acknowledged where possible in the text or beside the picture. If a statement is made or picture shown, without a source, that means the image is either fully original by the author (A.Paabo)or significantly modified artistically.

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author: A.Paabo, Box 478, Apsley, Ont., Canada


2017 (c) A. Pääbo.